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Akram Khan's Giselle dances in to the Liverpool Empire

The English National Ballet brings Akram Khan’s acclaimed version of the classical favourite Giselle to Liverpool this week.

The choreographer’s first full-length ballet is described as a ‘new and inventive take’ on the story, and is set in a community of migrant workers cast out of their jobs in a condemned garment factory.

Khan’s Giselle then is very different to the traditional version of the 1841 ballet which is more often danced to choreography by the legendary 19th century French/Russian ballet master Marius Petipa.

Tamara Rojo, artistic director of English National Ballet, explains: “From the beginning of my tenure as artistic director I’ve expressed my commitment to keeping the classics relevant.

“When I decided I wanted to bring Giselle, one of the most traditional pieces of the classical repertoire, into the 21st century there was only one choreographer I believe had both the knowledge of tradition and creativity necessary for this task.

Akram Khan's Giselle. Photographs by Laurent Liotardo

“I’m incredibly excited that Akram accepted this challenge. I believe this will be a very important step for the whole art form.”

Meanwhile Oscar-winning designer Tim Yip, who worked on the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, has created the set and costumes for this production.

Giselle tells the story of a peasant girl who dies of a broken heart after finding out her lover is engaged to another woman. The Wilis, supernatural women who dance men to death, summon her back and prepare to send her beloved to his death. But ultimately Giselle’s love frees him from his fate.

English National Ballet brings Giselle to the Liverpool Empire from October 25-28. Tickets from the website HERE

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